Chelsea are set to sign Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Barcelona let both players leave this month.
Manchester United last month agreed to a £72million fee to sign De Jong, but he has a £17million deferred wage and will not agree to leave until paid. Barcelona want him to stay, but only if he agrees to a significant pay cut and accepts a £6million settlement for his deferred wage.
Chelsea are willing to match United’s £72m bid and unlike United they can offer De Jong Champions League football.Read:Former West Brom star Matheus Pereira linked with return to the Midlands
Aubameyang moved from Arsenal to Barcelona on a free transfer in January. He has three years left on his contract. Although Thomas Tuchel has been reluctant to talk about Aubameyang publicly, he is eager to rejoin a player who scored 79 goals for him at Borussia Dortmund in two seasons.
Tuchel’s priority is to sign a centre-back and forward this month and Chelsea are increasingly confident they can strike a deal to sign Leicester defender Wesley Fofana and are preparing a third offer. Leicester don’t want to sell Fofana, but they would find it difficult to turn down a nearly £80million offer.Read:Did Perez spin deny Hamilton shot at Dutch GP pole?
Meanwhile, Inter Milan are asking Chelsea to pay £12million for 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei, even though he has not yet played for their first team.
Chelsea are taking a two-pronged approach to buying players this summer for now and for the future. Last week they signed Aston Villa’s 18-year-old midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka on a £20m deal. They have also signed 18-year-old Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina and 18-year-old Arsenal winger Omari Hutchinson.
Man United working on all options in midfield
Manchester United, meanwhile, have continued to work on all options in midfield as a deal for De Jong was complicated to do.Read:Arsenal have their own Robert Lewandowski as Thierry Henry makes huge Erling Haaland claim
United have not given up on De Jong and there is still a belief that a deal must be struck. Central midfield has been a priority for United all summer, who have a broad agreement in principle for the arrival of Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot. The signing of both Rabio and De Jong is not excluded.